SHAPING THE PROGRAM: Ward Hopes to Leave Solid Legacy at Sterling Tennis
BRIAN WARD STEPPED ONTO THE HARDTOP FOR THE FIRST TIME AS A FRESHMAN AT BAYTOWN STERLING.
The now-senior reflects on those days. It was the moment that he fell in love with the sport of firing the little, yellow fuzz-covered ball screaming across the net and in for point after point.
In that year, the thing that impacted him the most was that senior class.
"When I was a freshman we had a really great senior class that shaped our program and taught us some values of the team," Ward said. "I feel like they've instilled it into us and we've carried it out throughout the years."
What they have carried on is the ultra-success the program has found, culminating last fall in a trip to UIL Team Tennis Regional Semifinals.
A historic run for the program.
"The whole team you could just feel like we had a different energy to us," Ward said as he reflected. "We knew we could accomplish things. I feel like we also have that energy for this year. I think this year will be as good as last year."
As he moves into his senior year, Ward wants to be the senior leader to the incoming Class of 2025 that his seniors were to him. Sort of a pass-it-along mentality.
"The goal is to be that figure for the freshmen and get the traditions carried on," Ward said.
The goal for him this fall is crystal clear.
Win District. Win a Regional Championship. Make it to State.
"We kind of got a taste of it, so this year we want to make it to that state tournament," Ward said. "It's going to be a tough road but that's our ultimate goal." When he sets down the racket for the final time in the spring as a Sterling Ranger, Ward – who likes watching Dennis Shapovalo of Canada play – hopes to be remembered as someone who left his mark.
"I hope they remember me as a good leader," he said. "A good tennis player and someone that helped shape the program into [having] a winning mentality."